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Updated: 26-Mar-2007 NATO Update

Resettlement Information and Consultation Point
for the Ukrainian Navy

Background
NATO - Ukraine relations
Cutting the ribbon: Vice-Admiral Viktor Maksimov, the First Deputy Commander of the Ukraine Navy, and GĂ©rard Malet from NATO's Political Affairs and Security Policy division, who is responsible for the NATO-Ukraine retraining programme, open the resettlement information point at the Ukrainian navy headquarters in Sebastopol, on 12 December 2006.

With NATO support, a Resettlement Information and Consultation Point was opened at the Ukrainian naval headquarters at Sebastopol, Crimea, on 12 December 2006, to help former navy personnel find jobs in the civilian sector.

The information point provides information to discharged navy personnel on the possibilities for retraining offered by a NATO-funded retraining programme and a NATO/Partnership for Peace resettlement project in Khmelnitsky, as well as on opportunities that are available under Ukraine's recently launched national programme of retraining. Assistance in job search is given through a database of job vacancies. The information point will also serve to identify the specific needs of navy personnel in the area of retraining and resettlement.

Thanks to an increase in the resources devoted to the NATO-funded retraining programme in Ukraine, the programme now offers specialised technical courses for naval personnel, in addition to existing retraining courses in foreign languages and business management skills. These specialised courses provide former navy personnel with civil certification for military qualifications in areas such as maritime engineering and watch officer specialisation which allows them to find civilian jobs more easily in civilian shipping.

In May 2005, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence asked for NATO expert assistance in developing a comprehensive resettlement programme. In response, following further consultations with Ukrainian authorities, a NATO team of experts made a series of recommendations in June 2006, which helped Ukraine prepare a national programme of retraining. One of the key recommendations was that resettlement should become an integral part of the personnel policy of the Ukrainian armed forces and that it should be managed in a decentralised way.

The recently established information point is a first step in this direction and is a good illustration of the practical cooperation between NATO and Ukraine in managing the socio-economic consequences of defence reform and downsizing. Possibilities for opening similar information points elsewhere in future are under consideration.

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